The European Commission held its European Research and Innovation Days at the KANAL Centre Pompidou in Brussels, BE, on 24-26 September. The event, which was set up at the former Citroen factory, gathered 3,000 of Europe’s best researchers, scientists, innovators and policy-makers. The annual European event featured a high-level Policy Conference, an Innovative Europe Hub, and the ‘Science is Wonderful!’ open exhibition.
The Policy Conference brought together world leaders from industry, finance, academia and business to debate and shape the future research and innovation landscape. It also engaged stakeholders to co-create and build the strategic priorities for the first four years of Horizon Europe. The Innovative Europe Hub provided opportunities for networking as well as interactive sessions on EU innovation funding. Besides, the European R&I Days focused especially on mobilising citizens and increasing the general awareness and understanding of science. The free exhibition aimed at showing everybody how important research and innovation are in addressing societal challenges.
Overall, the EU R&I Days managed to set an overview of the main challenges that Europe is facing with its many presentations. Among the main topics addressed, for example, were the role of HEIs to integrate all parts of society in the change (parallel session ‘Universities in Innovation Ecosystems’); the use of nature-based solutions as a way out of the climate crisis (session ‘Let Nature Be a Solution’); the role of smart cities to implement UN Sustainable Development Goals (session ‘City as Innovation Lab’); and the need of city’s administrations to becoming moderators of the transition and the public dialogue as occurred with the city of Nantes, FR, which was awarded European Capital of Innovation 2019.
Brigitte Hasewend, eseia Director – email@example.com